Weekly Digest – 16 September 2020

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. We hope you and your family are safe and doing well. Read on for this week’s update.

Bank of Canada Commits to Keeping Benchmark Rate at 0.25%

The central bank is committing to keeping its benchmark interest rate at 0.25% for as long as necessary to help with the economic recovery.

Although economic indicators have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, they seem to be headed there. By making sure that interest rates remain low, the Bank of Canada will be able to support businesses in borrowing the funds they need to bounce back and grow.

If you need expert advice in evaluating your additional funding options or assistance for your loan applications, feel free to drop us a message.

Google Canada Launched Tool to Help Small Businesses Go Global

Google Canada has launched Market Finder, which is a one-stop-shop for Canadian small businesses seeking to go global. This free tool will help them identify the best markets for their products or services and prepare customized business plans using detailed market insights.

There are also videos and guides available to help small businesses prepare for new markets and educate in areas such as logistics, localization, and international payments.

Are you looking to pivot and transform your business by going online and boosting your digital capabilities? Drop us a message so we can schedule a consultation and discuss how we can make this possible.

Statistics Canada Reports Manufacturing Sales Up 7% in July

According to Statistics Canada, manufacturing sales climbed for a third consecutive month in July, but still remained short of pre-pandemic levels of February.

This 7% increase in manufacturing sales to $53.1 billion was driven by gains in the motor vehicle and parts sector. The upward trend over the last few months indicates that economic activity is going back to normal.

If your business is still struggling, get in touch with us so we can work out a plan for your recovery.

New Canada United Small Business Relief Fund

The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund brings together financial institutions and business associations to support small businesses affected by COVID-19.

Starting August 31, the fund provides up to $5,000 in funding toward recovery efforts such as buying personal protective equipment, renovating physical spaces, or developing e-commerce capabilities.

This new funding is being managed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the national Chamber network.

Assistance for Businesses in Canada

If you’re wondering what assistance is available to your business, please get in touch with us. There is a range of programs and grants including the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), the Co-lending Program, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) and more.

The application deadline for Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), which provides eligible small businesses with interest-free $40,000 loans, will be extended until the end of October. More than 730,000 loans amounting to $29 billion have already been approved under this scheme.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will help you assess based on your current financial situation and business needs.

Keeping Your Mental Health in Check and Supporting Others

With the prolonged lockdowns and tight social restrictions, combined with the financial uncertainty that everyone is facing, it is important to keep our own mental health in check and look out for others. In this Forbes article, Psychiatrist Dr. Dawn Brown discussed some tips on how you can support those struggling with their mental health:

  • Allow for a conversation. As mental health can be a very sensitive matter, start slow and let them lead.
  • Treat them with respect and understanding. Watch your language, don’t judge, and be careful not to make assumptions.
  • Encourage seeking the support they need. Your support alone may not be enough, so encourage them to talk to a professional who is equipped with more resources to help them.
  • Be supportive of positive mental health and do your part to make your workplace better.

Meanwhile, this article focuses on some weekend habits that can help you boost your happiness and productivity. Some ideas include:

  • Going for solo dates to renew your mind and experience something new. This exploration will give you fresh sources of creativity.
  • Do a weekly personal check-in. This will reorient your life if certain aspects are off track and help you assess your emotional well-being.
  • Connect with close friends and family. Stay in touch by scheduling video calls and starting meaningful conversations. Doing this will improve your connection and make you feel better.

Digital Main Street Grant

The Digital Main Street Grant is a $2500 grant for small businesses to adopt new technologies and embrace digital marketing. You can read more here or drop us a message if you need assistance in taking advantage of this new grant.

Avoiding COVID-19 Online Scams

Recently, there has been a significant increase in COVID-19-related online scams that steal your personal data, impersonate authorities, offer fraudulent medical goods and services, and make fake requests for charitable donations. Below are some tips from Google Safety Center to keep you from falling victim to these scams.

  • Know how scammers may reach you– Aside from emails, they may also use text messages, automated calls, and malicious websites.
  • Check trusted sources directly– Scammers may pose as trusted and authoritative sources. So directly visit reliable sources instead to get the latest factual information.
  • Be cautious of requests for personal or financial information, pause and evaluate before sharing– Do not provide confidential information such as logins, bank details, and addresses to suspicious or unverified sources. Donate directly through non-profits.
  • Double-check links and email addresses before clicking– Fake links imitate established websites by adding extra random letters and numbers or words, so be extra careful and check before you click.
  • Search to see if it’s been reported– Copy and paste the email address, phone number, or suspicious portion of the message on your search engine to check if it has already been reported.
  • Add an extra layer of security to your account– Add two-factor authentications to your accounts for extra protection online.

If you encounter phishing pages, you can report it here. For malicious software, you can report the site here.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss your next steps for your business.